2014 NFL Mock Draft: Rise of the quarterbacks

With the Super Bowl in the rearview mirror, NFL Draft season is officially underway. This week's mock draft features three rounds and several new starting quarterbacks.

Now that the pesky, boring Super Bowl is out of the way, it is officially NFL Draft season. Leading up to the first round on May 8, prepare to be overwhelmed with speculation, baseless rumors and mock drafts. To celebrate the official start of NFL Draft season, this week's mock draft is three rounds with no trades.

The challenge to mock drafts this time of year is projecting free agency. It's easy to assume what roster subtractions a team may make, but the additions are an impossibility. That, in addition to more prospect evaluation, is why a mock draft will change dramatically between now and May. Oh, and don't forget pro days at the NFL Scouting Combine (of which we'll have full coverage once again). The proverbial process is just getting going.

As always, if you have a mock draft, feel free to leave it in the comments. Houston Texans, you are officially on the clock.

1. Houston Texans - Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida

In my last mock draft, I had the Texans using the first pick on Jadeveon Clowney. That pick is still a possibility. But if anyone knows the Texans, it's John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. He's pretty adamant about the Texans using the first pick on a quarterback. If that's the case, the Texans will spend the next three months deciding between Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater and Johnny Manziel. The reasons for Bortles are rote. New head coach Bill O'Brien has always succeeded with quarterbacks with some size. Check. His Penn State team got torched by Bortles this season. Check. One of his mentors is Bortles' college coach. Check. For now, Bortles checks out as the top choice. As the draft process rolls along, it will be interesting to see what the Texans leak about how they like the quarterbacks. For now, it's Bortles but that could change.

2. St. Louis Rams (via Washington Redskins) - Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

As has been written several times already, the Rams are again in a beneficial spot with the No. 2 overall pick. Unless the team comes out and says Sam Bradford isn't the quarterback of the future, look for St. Louis to move this pick. Notably, it could be up for auction to a team targeting Jadeveon Clowney. Since I'm not doing trades in this mock draft, the Rams could be deciding between Matthews and Sammy Watkins. Matthews gets the nod this time because he's a top-level talent able to play the left or right side of the line. He's a "plug him in for a decade and forget about him" kind of talent.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars - Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

If Bridgewater is there for the Jaguars with the No. 3 pick, he has to be the choice. Over the next three months, bad NFL Draft evaluators will knock Bridgewater. He's not big enough. He doesn't have a cannon arm. But they'll fail to mention how he's advanced at reading defense or he can actually go through his progressions. Doubters be damned, Bridgewater is a franchise quarterback.

More: Pick reaction from Big Cat Country

4. Cleveland Browns - Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

This is a pick Browns fans should be getting used to seeing. The speculation about Cleveland's interest in Manziel has been happening for months and seems to be legit. The addition of Kyle Shanahan as offensive coordinator gives a little more credence to the selection since he worked with Robert Griffin III to some success. The Browns have burned through a lot of quarterbacks who have seemed to be content with whimpering off into the sunset. If Manziel busts, he would at least do it in dynamic fashion.

5. Oakland Raiders - Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

The Raiders are in a tough spot with the fifth pick in the draft. The three top quarterbacks are likely to be gone. I don't do trades in mock drafts, but the Falcons will likely maneuver to get over Oakland to take Jadeveon Clowney. That could leave the Raiders choosing between offensive tackles, Khalil Mack or Watkins. Oakland doesn't have a receiver near Watkins' level and he's clearly the best player at his position in the draft. If they add him early, there should still be some second-round quarterbacks who would upgrade the position for the Raiders.

6. Atlanta Falcons - Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

Somehow, someway, it just seems like the Falcons are going to come out of the 2014 NFL Draft with Clowney. General manager Thomas Dimitroff isn't afraid to pull the trigger on a trade, and whatever he'd give up would be worth it. Don't be lazy. Don't look at Clowney's stats from 2013. He was double-teamed all season and played injured. He's as rare of a talent as people tout him to be.

More: Pick reaction from The Falcoholic

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo

Mack may not be the pass-rushing defensive end the Buccaneers need, but he's a do-everything linebacker who could be a difference-maker straight away. Mack picked apart an Ohio State offensive line that should have four players taken in the draft this year, particularly left tackle Jack Mewhort. He's a physical pass rusher who can get off blocks and uses a variety of moves to get after the quarterback. As good as he is getting upfield, Mack looks comfortable dropping in space and covering tight ends. There's little Mack can't do.

More: Pick reaction from Bucs Nation

8. Minnesota Vikings - C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama

If Minnesota loses out on the top three quarterback prospects, it'll have to weigh whether or not Derek Carr is a noticeable upgrade over what is on the roster. If the answer is no, the Vikings are in a tough spot with the eighth pick. They could be a prime team to trade back and acquire more picks in a deep draft. If they stick at eight, Mosley could improve a shaky linebacker unit. Chad Greenway is coming off an average season and is due to make big money over the next two seasons. Erin Henderson was charged with a DUI in January, and his off-field issues are becoming a concern. Mosley may not be the next Luke Kuechly, but the leader of Alabama's defense is capable of playing inside or outside and gets to the ball in a hurry.

More: Pick reaction from the Daily Norseman

9. Buffalo Bills - Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

Erik Pears is a less-than-ideal right tackle, and Robinson could be viewed as a relative steal with the ninth pick. The Bills need to keep E.J. Manuel healthy going forward given his growing knee injury history. Having two very good offensive tackles would go a long way in doing that. Robinson made his name at Auburn as a devastating run blocker, but he's a good enough athlete to handle pass rushers as well. Some even grade him out higher than Matthews.

10. Detroit Lions - Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

The idea of pairing Evans with Calvin Johnson is criminal. As good as Johnson is, Evans simply wouldn't be a No. 2 receiver. He'd be 1B to Johnson's 1A. A physical marvel, Evans doesn't often get the credit he deserves for his hands and speed. Look for Evans to be one of the stars of the NFL Combine this month, and cement his spot as a top-10 pick.

11. Tennessee Titans - Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA

The first Titans pick in mock drafts has often been used on an offensive lineman. But if Robinson and Matthews are both gone, as they are here, the 11th pick is a little rich for the third-best tackle. New defensive coordinator Ray Horton would love to get his hands on an athletic, relentless player like Barr. He worked wonders with Cleveland's pass rushers last season and Barr is just as good or better than any of them.

12. New York Giants - Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina

The Giants' offense needs playmakers and there are few better in this year's draft than Ebron. While he's not Mark Bavaro as a blocker, Ebron plays like an speedy, oversized wide receiver. Whether it was going for almost 200 yards against Miami this season, or pulling in nine catches against North Carolina State, Ebron was a sensation for a North Carolina team that had shaky quarterback play. With a quarterback like Eli Manning, Ebron could quickly become one of the NFL's top tight ends.

13. St. Louis Rams - HaHa Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama

Clinton-Dix is the draft's best safety, by a fair margin. He's rarely out of position and can do anything a safety is asked. Safety is one of the Rams' biggest areas of need this offseason, so why not get the best one in the draft? Another player who should be a combine star, teams may be lucky if Clinton-Dix even slips to the teens.

14. Chicago Bears - Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri

Although the Bears just used a first-round pick on Shea McClellin in 2012, he's not had the career many expected with just 6.5 sacks in 28 games. Ealy is a high-upside player and the second-best 4-3 end in the draft this year. If Corey Wootton leaves in free agency, Ealy is talented enough to take over as a rookie. He's an incredible athlete just scratching the surface of his potential.

Must Read

15. Pittsburgh Steelers - Ra'Shede Hageman, Minnesota

The Steelers appear set to let Ziggy Hood and Brett Keisel leave via free agency, leaving them with Cameron Heyward and little else at defensive end. At the Senior Bowl, the massive and athletic Hageman looked like a perfect fit as a five-technique. In a draft light on nose tackle prospects, Hageman would at least give Pittsburgh a physical presence on the edge of the line.

16 or 17. Baltimore Ravens - Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama

Both of Baltimore's starting offensive tackles – Eugene Monroe and Michael Oher – are free agents. At this point in their careers, Kouandjio is better than both of them. He's a high-upside blocker who likes to get physical and maul defensive linemen. In other words, a perfect fit in the AFC North.

More: Pick reaction from Baltimore Beatdown

16 or 17. Dallas Cowboys - Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville

Barry Church and Jeff Heath, the Cowboys' two main safeties a year ago, wouldn't be able to beat Pryor out for a starting job right now. Isn't that what the draft is all about? Pryor is a good all-around safety. He's comfortable dropping back into coverage and breaking on the ball. But he's an aggressive run stopper as well and a sure tackler.

18. New York Jets - Marqise Lee, WR, Southern California

The Jets need a playmaker on offense. As the 2013 college football season progressed, Lee looked more and more like his old self. Injuries and inconsistent quarterback play knocked Lee down some during his college career, but he was on point in USC's bowl game. Lee is a speedy player who cuts quickly on his routes to get open. His hands aren't at the same level as Evans or Watkins, but they're good enough for Lee to be the third wide receiver off the board.

19. Miami Dolphins - Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

Quarterback Ryan Tannehill was sacked 58 times this season, so obviously the Dolphins need to improve the offensive line. Lewan is a big, physical blocker who has his way against power rushers. While Lewan will need to be coached up in the finer areas of handling speed rushers, his natural talent is impressive. In fact, he's very similar to former Dolphins left tackle Jake Long, especially when he first came into the league.

More: Pick reaction from the Phinsider

20. Arizona Cardinals - Antonio Richardson, OT, Tennessee

Sure, head coach Bruce Arians has said left tackle isn't the team's biggest priority this offseason, but the smoke screen is thick this time of the year. After Richardson, the quality of offensive tackles in the draft this year drops off considerably. He combines athleticism and power that many of the other top tackles this year don't.

21. Green Bay Packers - Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech

Jermichael Finley is entering free agency and recovering from spinal fusion surgery. The Packers may let him sign elsewhere if they can score a player of Amaro's quality in the first round of the draft. He has exceptional hands for a tight end and can play on the line of scrimmage or split out wide. Even with a good group of wide receivers, Amaro would quickly become a favorite for quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

22. Philadelphia Eagles - Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State

On one hand, you could argue the Eagles were last in the NFL in pass defense because they were on the field so often. On the other hand, you point out that neither Bradley Fletcher nor Cary Williams should be long-term solutions on the outside. Dennard is a press specialist who can hang with big receivers and is quick enough to stick with shifty pass catchers.

More: Pick reaction from Bleeding Green Nation

23. Kansas City Chiefs - Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU

In any mocks I've done, this picked has shifted between wide receivers. So why does someone like Beckham get the nod? He's not a superstar athlete like Florida State's Kelvin Benjamin, but he has some of the best hands in the draft. But don't mistake that for Beckham being only a possession receiver. He can run a full route tree, get open in tight spaces and has some speed.

24. Cincinnati Bengals - Jason Verrett, CB, TCU

Although Verrett isn't the most physically imposing cornerback in the draft this year, he can make a play on the ball better than other corners. Leon Hall had another Achilles injury this season, and Terence Newman will be 36 at the start of next season. Whatever cornerback the Bengals have highest on their board should be the pick.

More: Pick reaction from Cincy Jungle

25. San Diego Chargers - Zack Martin, OL, Notre Dame

The Chargers are in a tough spot with their guards. Chad Rinehart is a free agent and right guard Jeromey Clary has a large contract next season. In some fashion, the Chargers may make some moves at the position this offseason. Martin spent his career at Notre Dame starting at offensive tackle. But he has the look of a superstar guard. He's a nasty blocker who could star next to D.J. Fluker.

26. Cleveland Browns (via Indianapolis Colts) - Xavier Su'a-Filo, G, UCLA

This isn't a sexy pick. This is a pick that may make Browns fans groan (I can hear you). But it's a pick that has to happen. The Browns can't rely on Shawn Lauvao at right guard. If the best offensive tackles are gone, the team may stick with Mitchell Schwartz on the right side. Having a good guard next to him should make him a better player. Su'a-Filo is an athletic and powerful blocker who would fit well if the Browns convert to a zone-blocking scheme.

27. New Orleans Saints - Dee Ford, DE/OLB, Auburn

Although Ford showed at the Senior Bowl he's capable of playing with his hand in the dirt, he's athletic enough to move out to linebacker in the NFL. He's the type of pass rusher defensive coordinator Rob Ryan would love. Ford has a scary-fast first move and rare closing speed. He can be run on, but Ford looks like a 10-sack player as a rookie.

28. Carolina Panthers - Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State

There are some flaws in Benjamin's play. His hands can be shaky and his route tree is somewhat limited right now. But it's impossible to not be intrigued by the size, athleticism and upside Benjamin possesses. Receivers who are 6'5 and 234 pounds don't come around often. He could become the Panthers' No. 1 whenever Steve Smith retires.

More: Pick reaction from Cat Scratch Reader

29. New England Patriots - Louis Nix, DT, Notre Dame

Don't pigeonhole Nix because he played nose tackle in Notre Dame's 3-4 defense. He's much more than that. The Patriots were near the bottom of the NFL in run defense and tried to get by with Chris Jones and Joe Vellano, who are solid rotation pieces. Nix plays a lot like Vince Wilfork, who could be a cap casualty because he's due more than $11 million in 2014. While Nix shouldn't be considered just a nose tackle, he would give the Patriots the versatility to shift between three- and four-man fronts.

30. San Francisco 49ers - Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State

If a cornerback of Gilbert's caliber happens to slide in the draft, the 49ers should pounce. Whether that means waiting until pick No. 30 or trading up, the 49ers have a chance to add a very good cornerback. Tarell Brown is a free agent and Carlos Rogers may be a cap casualty. Gilbert is a highly athletic player who can step in and start as a rookie.

More: Pick reaction from Niners Nation

31. Denver Broncos - Ryan Shazier, OLB, Ohio State

Both Paris Lenon and Wesley Woodyard are free agents for the Broncos, and Shazier is a clear upgrade. Shazier is capable of playing outside or inside linebacker in the NFL. He's more physical than his measurables indicate and gets to the ball as fast as any linebacker in the draft this year.

32. Seattle Seahawks - Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State

What better insurance for Percy Harvin is there than adding his clone? That's how Cooks could be perceived. He would be a good fall back if Harvin gets hurt or if Golden Tate leaves via free agency. Cooks has the speed to get open over the top and the shiftiness to make defenders miss after the catch.

SECOND ROUND

33. Houston Texans - Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington

What goes better with a new quarterback than a safety valve tight end? The quarterback play at Washington diminished what Seferian-Jenkins is capable of doing for an offense. He's a big-play threat who's as athletic as he is physical. He's pro-ready as a receiver and blocker.

34. Washington Redskins - Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State

Although the Redskins' first pick last year was used on a cornerback, DeAngelo Hall and Josh Wilson are both free agents, and just really aren't that good. Roby didn't have the season at Ohio State some expected, but he's still a highly talented cornerback with the tools to be a star.

35. Cleveland Browns - Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State

If the Browns don't take a wide receiver with their second first-round pick (assuming they don't have to use it to trade up), there will be some solid options with this choice. Robinson was a big-play receiver for Penn State in 2013, finishing the year with 97 receptions for 1,432 yards and six scores. He's the kind of outside receiver who could take some of the pressure off superstar Josh Gordon.

36. Oakland Raiders - Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State

If Carr tumbles out of the first round – which is a possibility – the Raiders should pounce on him in the second. The No. 5 pick is a little much for Carr, but here he'd be a steal. He's obviously an upgrade over Matt McGloin, and would pair nicely with a receiver like Watkins.

37. Atlanta Falcons - Ka'Deem Carey, RB, Arizona

Steven Jackson didn't have the year the Falcons expected in 2013. He didn't run for more than 100 yards in any game, and averaged just 3.5 yards per carry. Carey is arguably the best running back in this year's draft. He's a speed merchant who is just physical enough to break a few tackles. Get Carey in the open field, and the Falcons have another wrinkle on offense. An offensive lineman would be tempting here, but the best ones are gone.

38. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Gabe Jackson, G, Mississippi State

In my last mock draft, I was soundly ripped for even considering an offensive tackle for the Buccaneers. So how about a massive left guard? Carl Nicks has often been injured, and hasn't lived up to the salary he received. He's owed big money over the next two seasons, as is right guard Davin Joseph. If the Buccaneers choose to cut either, there wouldn't be much drop-off if a player like Jackson is brought in.

39. Jacksonville Jaguars - Jeremiah Attaochu, OLB/DE, Georgia Tech

At the Senior Bowl, the Jaguars coaching staff rarely used Attaochu as a pass rusher. This led to some questions about his ability to line up as a Leo in Gus Bradley's defense. At Georgia Tech, Attaochu showed the ability to play defensive end or linebacker and would be a versatile piece for an improving defense.

40. Minnesota Vikings - Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU

Mettenberger and his giant arm are made for Norv Turner's vertical passing offense. Mettenberger's stock is down because he's currently rehabbing a torn ACL, but he's far more talented than Matt Cassel or Christian Ponder.

41. Buffalo Bills - Troy Niklas, TE, Notre Dame

Tight end Scott Chandler is a free agent, and a player of Niklas' caliber would be a considerable upgrade at the position. A surprise early entrant into the draft, Niklas is a good all-around tight end, capable of laying a crushing block and getting open in the seam.

42. Tennessee Titans - Lache Seastrunk, RB, Baylor

There has been some discussion about the Titans releasing Chris Johnson, and if that happens running back becomes a big need. Seastrunk may not have Johnson's pure speed, but he's close. He's one of only a few runners this year who can break a big gain at any moment, and is underrated as a between-the-tackles back.

43. New York Giants - David Yankey, G, Stanford

The Giants' offensive line is in a state of upheaval with Kevin Boothe's impending free agency, the retirement of David Diehl and the uncertainty about Chris Snee's future in New York. If the Giants decided to move on from Snee, right guard becomes a big need. Yankey could fill it suitably with his ability to get out on the move.

44. St. Louis Rams - Brandon Coleman, WR, Rutgers

If the Rams pass on a wide receiver in the first round, it may be wise for them to take a big, high-upside target in the second round. Because of the quarterback play at Rutgers the past few seasons, Coleman didn't develop into the type of player many expected. But when he's on, he's comparable in talent to Mike Evans of Texas A&M.

45. Detroit Lions - Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech

If not for some nagging injuries that kept Fuller out of the Senior Bowl and Virginia Tech's bowl game, he'd be considered a first-round pick. He's a big, physical cornerback who can beat receivers in man coverage.

46. Pittsburgh Steelers - Jarvis Landry, WR, LSU

Jerricho Cotchery and Emmanuel Sanders are both free agents, and the Steelers could save money by letting both walk. Last year's third-round pick, Markus Wheaton, could fill one spot, and Landry the other. The LSU product fits the mold of recent Steelers receivers and has some big-play capabilities.

47. Dallas Cowboys - Tim Jernigan, DT, Florida State

If the Cowboys can sufficiently address safety in the first round, adding another playmaking presence in the middle of the defense should become a priority on Day 2 of the draft. Jernigan is a fringe first-rounder because of his ability to split gaps and get in the backfield. He's the type of player who would improve Dallas' below-average sack totals.

48. Baltimore Ravens - Jimmie Ward, S, Northern Illinois

If there is a safety teams will look at and think of Earl Thomas, it's Ward. Being a rangy safety may be code word for undersized, but Ward would pair nicely with Matt Elam.

49. New York Jets - Cyril Richardson, G, Baylor

After being exposed some at the Senior Bowl, it's clear that Richardson will have to get drafted into the right system. He'd be a good fit with the Jets because he's a power blocker. Right guard Willie Colon is a free agent, and Richardson should be able to fill that spot pretty easily.

50. Miami Dolphins - Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh

Breaking Madden

To get Donald at this point in the second round of the draft should be considered a steal. Donald starred during Senior Bowl week, and the Geno Atkins comparisons are legit. Randy Starks and Paul Soliai are both free agents after this season. Donald would slide inside for Miami nicely.

51. Chicago Bears - Stephon Tuitt, DT/DE, Notre Dame

The Bears have numerous free agents along the defensive line, and at this point Tuitt is arguably the best player available. While he played end in Notre Dame's 3-4 defense, he's powerful enough to hold up as a 4-3 tackle.

52. Arizona Cardinals - Christian Jones, OLB, Florida State

While Jones was at his best last season when Florida State lined him up at end, he's experienced at outside and inside linebacker. The Cardinals don't have a lot of playmakers at outside linebacker, and John Abraham is nearing the end of his career.

53. Green Bay Packers - Ahmad Dixon, S, Baylor

Going into the draft, safety is one of the biggest needs for the Packers. In the first year of a five-year deal, Packers strong safety Morgan Burnett had his struggles. The same can be said for free safety M.D. Jennings. Dixon would be the team's best safety immediately and pair nicely with Green Bay's talented cornerbacks.

54. Philadelphia Eagles - Deone Bucannon, S, Washington State

Another secondary piece for the Eagles. Nate Allen is a free agent, and Patrick Chung didn't do much to live up to the contract he was given. Bucannon is a hard-hitting safety who can cover tight ends in man situations. He's a better coverage safety than he's given credit, and is a player who can set the tone in the back half.

55. Cincinnati Bengals - Dominique Easley, DT, Florida

Brandon Thompson played well when Geno Atkins was injured, but the Bengals may look to move on from Robert Geathers and Domata Peko to save some money. Before tearing his ACL, Easley was viewed as a top-15 pick. So while he does a lot of the same things Thompson and Atkins do, a player of his quality will find a way onto the field.

56. San Francisco 49ers (via Kansas City) - Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt

Matthews may not have had the Senior Bowl some expected, but he's still a dependable receiver and a threat in the red zone. A savvy route runner, Matthews won't wow a lot of people with his speed, but he has good hands.

57. San Diego Chargers - Kyle Van Noy, OLB, BYU

The Chargers have added several pieces at linebacker, but Van Noy is too good of a player to pass over at this point in the second round. He can play on the outside, or with his hand in the dirt in four-man fronts. He's able to drop in coverage and has been a solid pass rusher.

58. New Orleans Saints - Andre Hal, CB, Vanderbilt

Keenan Lewis is a fine player for the Saints, but they don't have much opposite him. If the Saints don't address the position in the first round, look for them to do it on the second day of the draft. One of the SEC's best cornerbacks the past two seasons, Hal had 18 passes defended as a senior.

59. Indianapolis Colts - Jack Mewhort, OT, Ohio State

There was some buzz coming out of the Senior Bowl that Mewhort was a fringe first-round player. He may not be the interior lineman the Colts need, but Mewhort is a good enough player to bolster the line in some fashion.

60. Carolina Panthers - Lamarcus Joyner, CB/S, Florida State

The Panthers have numerous free agents in their secondary, including cornerbacks Drayton Florence and Captain Munnerlyn, along with safeties Mike Mitchell and Quintin Mikell. What better way to address that than adding a player capable of playing both cornerback and safety? Joyner often gets compared to Tyrann Mathieu because he's an undersized playmaker in the back half.

61. San Francisco 49ers - Dion Bailey, S, Southern California

A converted linebacker, Bailey developed quickly in his final year at USC. If the 49ers decide not to bring Donte Whitner back, they need someone to pair with Eric Reid. While Bailey is at his best working down in the box, he's capable enough of dropping back in coverage.

62. New England Patriots - Davante Adams, WR, Fresno State

While the Patriots did just draft two wide receivers last year and added Kenbrell Thompkins, Adams is too good to pass up. At the least he would save the Patriots from signing an overpriced free agent or banking on someone like Thompkins.

63. Denver Broncos - Pierre Desir, CB, Lindenwood

For teams looking to add bigger cornerbacks this offseason, Desir will be a hot commodity. He can get physical with opposing receivers, and help fill one of Denver's biggest needs.

64. Seattle Seahawks - Will Sutton, DT, Arizona State

Sutton may not be a perfect replacement for players like Cliff Avril or Michael Bennett, but a talent like him can't be ignored at the end of the second round.

THIRD ROUND

65. Houston Texans - Ja'Wuan James, OT, Tennessee

With O'Brien as head coach, the Texans aren't tied to a zone-blocking scheme any longer. Because of that, if a power-blocking right tackle like James slides, they can strike in the third round.

66. Washington Redskins - Donte Moncrief, WR, Ole Miss

A player as good as Moncrief would be somewhat of a steal at this point in the draft. There are smaller playmaking receivers still on the board, but Moncrief is capable of getting up the field himself.

67. Oakland Raiders - Aaron Lynch, DE, South Florida

Lynch is one the highest upside players in the draft. If he develops how many think he can, he's a top-20 talent.

68. Atlanta Falcons - Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia

The massive Moses is a player capable of lining up on either the left or right side and has the sheer size to immediately be an asset.

69. New York Jets (via Tampa Bay) - Carlos Hyde, RB, Ohio State

Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell are a nice pair of running backs, but neither has the potential Hyde does to be a true No. 1. Hyde is a powerhouse runner with nimble feet and surprising speed.

70. Jacksonville Jaguars - Weston Richburg, C, Colorado State

Veteran Brad Meester is a free agent, and at the Senior Bowl, Richburg asserted himself as arguably the best center in this year's draft.

71. Cleveland Browns - Charles Sims, RB, West Virginia

Sims is the best all-around running back in the draft this year and would give the Browns a running back who can carry the load and catch passes out of the backfield.

72. Minnesota Vikings - Scott Crichton, DE, Oregon State

With Jared Allen's future in Minnesota up in the air and Everson Griffen a free agent, the Vikings have a big need at defensive end. Crichton is a strong pass rusher who will only get better as he adds more moves to his arsenal.

73. Buffalo Bills - Devon Kennard, DE/OLB, Southern California

Sure, new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said the Wide 9 wouldn't define his defense, but he may like to have an attacking, versatile pass rusher like Kennard.

74. New York Giants - Bishop Sankey, RB, Washington

The Giants can't rely on former first-round pick David Wilson, and Andre Brown is a free agent. Sankey is a no-frills running back with good vision and enough speed.

75. St. Louis Rams - Ego Ferguson, DT, LSU

The Rams already have a good defense, but Ferguson could work his way into the defensive tackle rotation.

76. Detroit Lions - Travis Swanson, C, Arkansas

Center Dominic Raiola's career is winding down, and Swanson is someone who can come in and play at any of the interior line positions.

77. San Francisco 49ers (via Tennessee) - Anthony Johnson, DT, LSU

Johnson is an unconventional fit on a 3-4, but he should be able to find his way because of his quickness.

78. Dallas Cowboys - Demarcus Lawrence, DE, Boise State

George Selvie was good for the Cowboys, but a player like Lawrence would add even more quality pass rush help to the Cowboys' defensive line.

79. Baltimore Ravens - Cody Hoffman, WR, BYU

There isn't a lot of dynamism to Hoffman's game. He's just a dependable possession receiver who can be an asset in the red zone.

80. New York Jets - E.J. Gaines, CB, Missouri

Antonio Cromartie is due a large roster bonus in March, is coming off a down season and has a hip issue. Gaines was a three-year starter at Missouri, and was an All-SEC performer, intercepting five passes as a senior.

81. Miami Dolphins - James Hurst, OT, North Carolina

Doubling up on offensive tackles in the draft this year would immediately improve Miami's biggest weakness. If Hurst weren't coming back from injury, he'd be a second-round player, at worst.

82. Chicago Bears - Marcus Roberson, CB, Florida

Of the three Florida cornerbacks who will be taken in the draft, Roberson is the most pro-ready. If Charles Tillman is lost in free agency, Roberson could be pressed into duty quickly.

83. Cleveland Browns (via Pittsburgh Steelers) - Loucheiz Purifoy, CB, Florida

The Browns have tried several cornerbacks opposite Joe Haden, and need to keep trying until they find one.

84. Arizona Cardinals - Brett Smith, QB, Wyoming

At some point in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Cardinals should draft a quarterback. Smith left Wyoming a year early and needs to develop for a bit. This would be a good situation for him with plenty of receivers to help him along.

85. Green Bay Packers - DaQuan Jones, DT, Penn State

B.J. Raji is entering free agency, and while Jones may not fill space quite as well, he's a solid defensive lineman who would add toughness to the unit.

86. Philadelphia Eagles - De'Anthony Thomas, WR/RB, Oregon

It's hard to find a good spot for Thomas, but Chip Kelly knows how to use him. He could line up at wide receiver, running back and contribute on special teams.

87. Kansas City Chiefs - Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Eastern Illinois

When you don't have a second-round pick, taking a backup quarterback can be viewed as a luxury pick. But don't forget, Alex Smith is a free agent after next season and Garoppolo is a good scheme fit.

88. Cincinnati Bengals - Carl Bradford, OLB, Arizona State

If nothing else, Bradford would be a good replacement for James Harrison in the near future.

89. San Diego Chargers - Stanley Jean-Baptiste, CB, Nebraska

The Chargers would be gambling waiting this long to add a cornerback, but scoring a player like Jean-Baptiste in the third round would be a good choice.

90 Indianapolis Colts - Ed Stinson, DE, Alabama

Cory Redding is a solid player for the Colts up front, but adding more talent in the draft should be near the top of the team's needs.

91. New Orleans Saints - Seantrel Henderson, OT, Miami

Protecting Drew Brees has to be a priority of New Orleans' offseason. Henderson is rough around the edges, but is a great talent.

92. Carolina Panthers - Billy Turner, OT, North Dakota State

The Panthers have several free agent offensive linemen, and Turner has the ability to play on either side.

93. New England Patriots - Richard Rodgers, TE, California

Rodgers isn't the highest-rated tight end left on the board, but he's the best receiver.

94. San Francisco 49ers - Aaron Colvin, CB, Oklahoma

This is the token injured player luxury pick for the 49ers. Before tearing his ACL during Senior Bowl practices, Colvin had the potential to be a second-rounder.

95. Denver Broncos - Tre Mason, RB, Auburn

Knowshon Moreno is a free agent, and some consider Mason among the best running backs in the draft.

96. Minnesota Vikings (via Seattle) - Jay Bromley, DT, Syracuse

If new head coach Mike Zimmer wants a Geno Atkins-type defensive tackle, Bromley fits the mold. He could pair with Sharrif Floyd in the middle for Minnesota going forward.

More from SB Nation NFL Draft

NFL mock draft: Believe in Bortles

Rankings: Top 200 | QB | WR | OT | DE | ILB | CB

2014 NFL Draft underclassman tracker

Jadeveon Clowney scouting report

How Richard Sherman found stardom as a fifth-round pick

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